Sunday, June 2, 2013

My Double-Edged Sword

Dr. Roopa Duggal:   “You have a mass inside your uterus and need surgery as soon as possible.”
Me:  “Do you think ...” My breath left my body. “Do you think it’s cancer?”
Dr. Roopa Duggal:  “It could me a number of things, but ... yes, cancer is one of them. You have been on Tamoxifen therapy for five years now and one of the side effects is overgrowth of the uterine lining, polyps and uterine cancer.”
Me:  “I can’t believe this is happening." My jaw locked as it normally does right before a panic attack. "This feels like a nightmare.”
Dr. Roopa Duggal:  “We just need to get it out, because if we leave it and you become pregnant, the probability of losing the pregnancy is very high.”

"Other side effects [of Tamoxifen] are rare but are more dangerous. These include: Overgrowth of the lining of the uterus (endometrial hyperplasia) and cancer of the lining of the uterus (endometrial cancer).” -- WebMD 

The good news is, the shape of my uterus is normal. It looks like it’s in the shape of a lightbulb, although it is very narrow. There is no malformation and my ovaries are very healthy. The problem is, with the mass and the overgrown uterine lining, the inside of my uterus looks like an hourglass. I am experiencing continuous cramping and frequent bleeding.

My surgery is confirmed for Thursday, June 13 at Loudoun Hospital with Dr. Roopa Duggal. They will remove the mass and the overgrown uterine lining (D&C) and then send both for pathology. Then I wait to find out what all this means for me ... is it cancer?

This Tuesday, I have my six-month appointment with my oncologist, Dr. David Heyer. I plan to talk through what my different options might be considering this new development. I am preparing myself for several scenarios, which could include stopping the Tamoxifen four months ahead of time or even needing a hysterectomy.

My heart is heavy and I am trying desperately to stay positive, but it is not easy. I hope this mass is simply a polyp and I will be able to stop taking the Tamoxifen. I want desperately to just be healthy and to live out my days as long as I can with my husband, family and friends. I don't know why I, along with countless others, are continually tested, but I do know that it only strengthens my faith, love and hope.


  1. My prayers continue to be with you!

  2. This just blew my mind! How is is this going on and you're still able to be so positive, engaging and helpful to Tanya and I? You're remarkable Jen. I will be praying for you. God bless you for all you do.